The very concept of an “East Village bar” conjures up plenty of different kinds drinking establishments — dives, high-end cocktail joints — but the ideal version is the same as any neighborhood’s best bar: comfortable, able to turn out decent drinks that don’t cost too much, not too crowded, and, most important, fun. That sums up the Wayland, in Alphabet City, more or less perfectly. The thing about starting a night here is that there’s a good chance you’ll end up staying, and closing the whole place down, too. There’s occasional live music, very well made cocktails (the notorious kale-juice margarita is improbably terrific), and far-better-than-they-need-to-be sandwiches (get the BLT). The space is particularly nice when sunlight streams in onto the piano and the worn wooden floor slats, so make a point to drop by for happy hour, when cocktails are $8 and oysters are just a buck. Late-night, local bartenders crowd in after shifts at neighboring pubs, and the staff has been known to throw impromptu seafood parties. Plus: The hype around the “I Hear Banjos” — a stirred whiskey number that’s finished when the bartender “traps” some applewood smoke by topping it with an inverted, empty glass — is justified; it’s one of the city’s most impressive cocktails.